Nigerian juror dismissed from airline attack trial
Detroit: The judge in the trial of a Nigerian
man accused of trying to blow up a plane with a bomb in his underwear has dismissed a juror from the defendent's home country.
About a half-hour after 12 jurors and four alternates
were selected for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's trial, US District Judge Nancy Edmunds told attorneys, "we have a problem with a juror."
Edmunds then dismissed a woman identified a day earlier
as being from Abdulmutallab's home country. The judge did not
elaborate or explain the dismissal in court.
Abdulmutallab, a well-educated 24-year-old from an
upper-class family, was directed by a radical Islamic cleric
and wanted to become a martyr when he boarded Northwest
Airlines Flight 253 in Amsterdam on Christmas 2009, according
to the government.
Lawyers had not objected to keeping the Nigerian woman in
the jury pool when she was questioned in court yesterday.
She had said on a jury questionnaire that she was "embarrassed" at the time of the attack.
"We all feel it as a community," she said in court.
The woman said in court that she is from Nigeria's "middle
belt," where dozens of ethnic groups mingle on contested land
separating the Muslim north from the predominantly Christian
Abdulmutallab's family home is in northern Nigeria.
The dismissed juror will be replaced by one of the four
alternates and a new alternate will be chosen.
Opening statements in the trial are scheduled for